BOSTON (AP) Boston College is going a long way to try to earn its first Atlantic Coast Conference victory in 21 months.
The Eagles are heading to Dublin to play Georgia Tech on Saturday, and coach Steve Addazio is hoping things go better than they did when they went 0-8 in the conference last season. To turn things around, BC will fly 3,000 for a home game.
''I'm excited about being in a new country,'' BC quarterback Patrick Towles, who had been to South America a couple of times on mission trips, said after the Eagles' last practice on campus before flying out on Tuesday night. ''But we aren't looking at it like (tourists). We're looking at it as an opportunity to win a football game.''
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Boston College will be visiting Ireland for the second time, having beaten Army 38-24 at the old Lansdowne Road stadium in 1988 – the first American football game played in Europe. This won't even be the first game abroad this season: California beat Hawaii last weekend in Sydney.
Addazio said playing in a foreign country has its challenges, including jet lag and a loss of useful practice time. The coach said the team will go straight to practice from the flight after it arrives on Wednesday morning, in order to get acclimated to the five-hour time difference between Boston and Dublin. The practices after they arrive will be more like walkthroughs, he said.
''We can't get off the plane and have a hard, `rock and sock `em' practice. That can't happen,'' Addazio said. ''It's forced us to really accelerate everything. When I mean everything, I mean everything.''
Unlike a bowl game, where there is often time to be a tourist built into the schedule, this one is all business. Towles said there are a few hours of family time on Thursday night.
''You're going there to win a game,'' Addazio said. ''There will be a couple of things planned to give them some experience of a different culture and different country. But in the same breath, you're pretty structured with your time so there won't be a lot of that.''
Running back Myles Willis said he is also excited to see his Atlanta high school play a game there – one of six U.S. high schools to take part in the American Football Showcase. ''It will be the first time I get to see them since I left Atlanta,'' he said.
It will be Willis' second time out of the country; he also went on a road trip to Montreal with some friends.
He said he doesn't know what to expect from Ireland.
''That's the best part,'' he said, ''because everything is just new.''
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